Authorities in Malaysia are ramping up their efforts to rid of online gambling activities in the country.
This month, police announced they have arrested a total of 112 people involved in online gambling in the Seri Alam district, The Star reported.
Seri Alam Police Assistant Commander Abdul Samad Sellah said the arrests were made during a series of raids conducted between Dec. 1 and Dec. 12. A total of 264 laptops, four smart tablets and some RM8,509 ($1,969) in cash were seized during the raids, according to the report.
The arrested people—101 gamblers and 11 workers—were between 19 years old to 63 years old, according to the news outlet.
They will be investigated under the Common Gambling Act of 1953, Sellah told the news outlet.
Malaysia is determined to go after online gambling websites that the country has deemed illegal. Last year, local authorities carried out 62,819 raids that resulted in the arrest of more than 20,000 people and the seizure of 138,166 computers suspected of being used for illegal online gambling activities.
The government also created a 200-strong, elite federal police unit that it impressively named Special Task Force for Anti-Vice, Gaming and Gangsterism (STAGG), which targets the “sharks” of the illegal gambling world.
This year, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) blocked the Internet access to at least 310 online gambling websites after news surfaced that suspected illegal operators in the country have resorted to making online gambling offers to the public via text messages. The blocked websites were actively promoting and organizing online gambling, according to the commission.
Just recently, Malaysia started taking a different approach to curb the “widespread online illegal gambling activities” in the country. The government announced that it is looking at adjusting the archaic laws that are holding back police from “prosecuting those responsible.”
Currently, the government is using the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) to go after online gambling activities, but law enforcement officers are also proposing amendments to the provisions under the Communications and Multimedia Act, Lotteries act 1952, Common Gaming House Act 1953 and Betting Ordinance 1953.